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Derrida and the End of History (Postmodern Encounters) [Paperback]

Professor Stuart Sim
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 July 1999 Postmodern Encounters
Derrida's critique of Fukuyama's claim that history "as we know it" has ended is highlighted as one of his most valuable contributions to the postmodern cultural debate. This book places Derrida's rejection of Fukuyama's claim within the context of a wider tradition of 'endist' thought.

Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (1 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840460946
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840460940
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 701,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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When Francis Fukuyama proclaimed that history had ended with the victory of liberal democracy over Communism he was articulating a general triumphalism, an optimism that totalitarianism, proved morally and fiscally bankrupt, had been banished forever as a way to organise state and civil society. Derrida, in his most political book The Specters of Marx saw in Fukuyama's critique a hidden agenda, that most totalitarian gesture of all: stifling debate. In deconstructing Fukuyama, and some of the postmodern thinkers equally affected by Endism, Derrida brought attention back to the poverty and suffering endemic to capitalism with a use of Marx that was invigorating if thoroughly non-Marxist. Stuart Sim, in this well written, focused little guide, renders a very sympathetic, subtle Derrida against the blockheadedness of Fukuyama's semi-religious evangelism of Western values. History by its nature does not end it simply produces different narratives with which to formulate itself. By way of an introduction to this important debate Sim's essay would be difficult to beat. --Mark Thwaite

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something about Endtimes 20 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Is it possible that we came to the point of the End of History? Derrida's answer is of course no, but this is answer for Mr. Fukuyama's book "The End of History and The Last Man". Stuart Sim briefly introduces us with Derrida's work and his main ideas such as the idea of Deconstruction. Also, he briefly stresses the concepts of "Endtimes" in work of Lyotard and Baudrillard. There is also a glossary at the end of book which can help us to deal with the main concepts of postmodernism, Nietzche, Lyotard, Althusser, and of course Derrida. If you missed this type of postmodern debate, the debate of so called "Endtimes", or your intention is to be briefly informed about this, I recommend this book as the first step for the further reading. It worths its money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Derrida and the End of History: By Stuart Sim. 6 Nov 2011
By ShiDaDao Ph.D TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is an extraordinary book, published in the 'Postmodern Encounters' series. The author - Stuart Sim - is Professor in English at Sunderland University, and has written previously on cultural and critical theory. This relatively short text is an assessment of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida's (1930-2004) 1993 book entitled 'Specters of Marx', which is itself, a 'deconstruction' of the American political theorist Francis Fukuyama's 1992 work entitled 'The End of History and the Last Man.

The paperback (2000) edition contains 77 numbered pages and is comprised of 12 short titled chapters. There is no 'Contents' section, or 'Index', but there is a very useful 'Key Ideas' section at the end:

Questioning History.
Understanding Derrida.
Fukuyama and the End of History.
Baudrillard and the End of History.
Lyotard and the End of History.
Consciousness and the End of History.
What's the Difference? The Deconstructive Ethos.
The Politics of Deconstruction.
Spirits, Spectres, and Deferring the End.
The Ideal and the Real: Demolishing Fukuyama.
A Question for Today?
Key Ideas.

With the collapse of Communism in the late 1980's, and the subesquent demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, Francis Fukuyama wroe his 'End of History and the Last Man' to convey his belief that with the defeat of Communism, liberal democracy and capitalist free market economics had triumphed because taken together, these ideologies represented the highest, natural condition that humanity could aspire to achieve, and that with the end of the effective functioning of Communism as a political ideology, the 'history' of competing ideologies had come to an end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro book to Derrida's world 23 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
yes i bought this excellent little book on the basis of the other review here and at only 71 pages (including the concise but very informative index of key terms + concepts) is a great place to dip yr toe into the often tortuous + abstract wold of post-modern theory and its commentary + critique of politics, ideology and society at large. the book written by Stuart Sim really delineates + clarifies Derrida's sometimes oblique wordplay into easily understood soundbites and concepts.

Derrida (as the king of deconstruction in post-modernism) demolished Fukuyama's simplistic claim for the "end of history" now that Communism has largely fallen by the wayside in "favour of liberal (capitalist) democracy" is a joy . Derrida argues (via Sim) amongst many other salient subjects here) that ideological "spectres" such as communism may appear to be dead at present in the late 20th C/early 21st Century in terms of global influence, but its influence and spectre will continue to inform, influence and indeed haunt the supposedly only way forward - proposed by Fukuyama et al. The latest global financial meltdown in 2007/08 testifies to this cautionary note.

From the same "Postmodern Encounters" series (on Icon) is "Barthes-and the Empire of Signs : another useful little book which tackles the nature of representation + its meanings in our post-industrial culture. anyway - "Derrida-and the End of History" is a great little intro book about an important Philosopher and subject.
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